Since I am starting back up working on my Dedicant path with ADF, and since my spiritual practice is one of the five key areas that I want to focus this Blog on, I’ve decided to use it to post my Dedicant Journal as I work through the Wheel of the Year program. Hopefully posting it this way will help encourage me to keep up with my dedicant work and also allow others working through the dedicant path to network and reference in the future.
My goal for the Dedicant Journal posts is a weekly post that contains any Meditation logs, Ritual logs, and Homework assignments following the program.
All required readings were done this week. These included the Introduction for Our Own Druidry, as well as the appendix listing the required documentation for the Dedicant Path. I also read the two suggested Readings, Journaling the Druid Path by Ladytoad, and Uncertainty and the Dedicant’s Journey by Art Shipkowski
I completed a 10-minute meditation each day of this week. These were all done using the four-fold breath technique of breathing in through the nose for a four-count, holding for a four-count, breathing out through the mouth for a four-count, and holding for a four-count. These were all done as part of my “Magical Morning” routine.
On Tuesday, I also attempted to silently include a two-powers meditation during the 10-minute session. I found it really difficult to do, I had trouble keeping focused on the two powers. It ended up taking most of the 10 minutes to do this. I think the next time I attempt it, I will speak the meditation out loud rather than attempt to do it silently.
On Wednesday, I also went to the Boston Tea Room to participate in their half-hour silent meditation program in the evening with one of my partners. This is actually the second week that I participated in this, which would make last week the start date for my 6-month meditation practice as part of the Dedicant Path. Last week the meditation went well. I’m unaccustomed to doing my meditations for that length of time, but I actually had fewer difficulties with my mind wandering than I do with my shorter 10-minute meditations at home. I mainly focused on four-fold breath, with a period in the middle of just not focusing on really anything, and letting my breath do what it wanted to do.
During this week’s half-hour meditation, I spent the induction period using the four-fold breath technique. Then I did a short journey to my Mountaintop. Cougar met me there, and she was in a playful mood. There was no real deeper work or spiritual lesson that happened during this time, I simply spent the time with Cougar on the Mountain.
I completed a simple hearth rite each day this week at my home shrine. It is the same ritual that I have done periodically for years as my lararium rite. This was done as part of my “Magical Morning” routine. As today is the Kalends of July, an additional offering to Juno Regina was made during the rite. I am actually a bit surprised that I’ve already started doing large sections of the the daily rite from memory instead of reading off of my script.
This week’s homework is a set of questions posed in the Wheel of the Year textbook.
- Why have you chosen to take the first steps on the Dedicant Path?
The dedicant path is an important part of why I chose ADF druidry in the first place. I was seeking a group that had an established educational system which would allow me to practice both within my Roman hearth culture and encourage the shamanistic/ecstatic side of my personal practice. I have been a practicing neopagan for the last 23 years, but my learning was entirely self-directed and contains significant gaps. The dedicant path is exactly the kind of formal educational path that I was looking for.
- Is this a step on your path, or will this become the Path itself?
The dedicant path is definitely only a single step on my personal spiritual path. I have every intention of continuing with other ADF study programs once this initial step is taken. I am particularly interested in the Artisan’s Guild study program and the Liturgist’s Guild study programs. While I think it is still far too early to make that decision, I may one day decide to complete the clergy program as well.
- What do you expect to Learn?
I expect to learn a complete religious practice that covers all of the basic skills and knowledge to practice ADF druidry. It is also my goal to through the Dedicant Path and additional studies to continue to build a personal Domestic Cultus of the Religio Romana.
- What would you like to get out of this journey?
My hope is that I will be able to fill in the gaps in my current spiritual knowledge, as well as create a solid foundation for further study.
- Do you know where this path will take you?
I don’t think anyone can know ahead of time where this journey will lead beyond to a greater relationship with spirit. Beyond that, it is up to the individual undertaking the journey, and the twists and turns that happen along the path.
- If you have just joined ADF, why have you chosen to work on this immediately?
As I have already said, this program is a primary reason why I chose to join ADF. In my case, a more appropriate question is “why have you chosen to work on this now?” I have started up this program so many times at this point I’ve lost count. I’ve been a member of ADF for something like 9 years now. As far as why at this moment, I’m working on several personal development projects right now, and it seems like this is an appropriate time to start working on the Dedicant Path again.
- Does it look hard or easy?
The study program itself does not look difficult. Some parts will certainly be easier than others, but the program is easily accomplishable by anyone with the dedication to see it through.
- Which requirements appear to be difficult to you now, and which appear to be easy?
Probably the most difficult requirement will be the 5 month journal for mental discipline. I am notoriously lacking in self-discipline, and meditation is one of my least favorite parts of spiritual practice. While I perform a good deal of trance work as part of my shamanistic practice, regular meditation is difficult for me. The easiest will likely be the home shrine requirement because I have already been keeping an altar for several years. I will only need to change some of the items on the altar to make it appropriate for ADF practice. I also am already performing a devotional ritual on a (more or less) regular basis honoring the spiritual entities with which I work.
- Do you have doubts, questions, or concerns that you need to ask about?
Not at this time, though I have no doubt they will arise as I go through the process.